The attachment theory that John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth studied refers to the emotional bond that babies establish with their caregivers. From the moment the baby is born, it needs the love, attention and trust of his caregiver. The attachment theory, also focuses on how much and how these needs are met, and the consistency of the relationship established. Although relationships established during childhood and early childhood are mostly in the foreground in the theory, this relationship is argued to be reflected in relationships in adolescence and even adulthood.

Feb 4, 2024 - 17:37
Feb 7, 2024 - 16:14
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Attachment theory was developed by John Bowlby and Mary Ainsworth. Caregivers (especially parents), who are with the baby and meet its needs, see and meet the baby's needs from the first moment of its birth, which creates a bond of trust between the caregiver and the baby. On the contrary, ignoring and neglecting the needs of the baby leads to damage to the bond of trust between the caregiver and the baby. And research shows that this bond with the caregiver is also reflected in the relationships we will establish with others in adulthood.

According to the relationships established in adulthood, there are three attachment types by Ainsworth: secure attachment, anxious attachment, and avoidant attachment. However, in the subsequent years, a fourth attachment type was defined as disorganized attachment.


  • Secure Attachment: It is the desired type of attachment. This attachment identifies the bond established with their Caregivers, that children growing up in an accepting environment and  with positive parental attitudes. These children play games with their Caregivers and trust them.They feel more comfortable when it comes to reflecting their feelings and separating from parents.They can have the ability of trusting others and respecting themselves. These children are people who can empathize, maintain their boundaries and respect the relationships they have established as adults. They trust their partner: they can be in a stable relationship, but they are not dependent on their partner. They are not afraid of rejection. They can have a close and meaningful relationships.

  •  Anxious Attachment: It is the one of the insecure attachment types. The caregiver sometimes responses to all of the child's necessity, but sometimes ignores the child's necessity like a completely neglectful parent. In return, the child is concerned about the inconsistent caregiver when and how to respond to their necessity. This anxiety includes the fear of abandonment and rejection. As a result of this inconsistency behaviours of the caregiver and his/her concerns, the child can neither fully approach the caregiver nor move away from him/her.They have low self-confidence. They are constantly dependent on others and in need of approval. They experience insecurity and jealousy in their relationships. They have difficulty in being alone, so they maintain even negative relationships. They can not set boundaries for their partners and they need their approval because of the fear of abondonment. They do not consider themselves worthy of being loved since their self-confidence and self-esteem are low. They put the blame on themselves for the problems they experience in their relationships.


  • Avoidant Attachment: The caregiver is unconcerned and distant. Even if the caregiver ignored the child's needs, he-she remained unresponsive. The child is unresponsive to the absence or presence of the caregiver. They have difficulty in establishing emotional and physical intimacy with others and therefore they prefer to be alone rather than establishing stable relationships. They want to be independent, they think they do not need the support of others. They put up a wall against others. They have an independent structure in their relationships. They may experience confidence problems and they can be abandoned easily. They can not have a deep romantic relationships and tends to run away. They have difficulty in expressing their feelings. In general, they have problems in their interpersonal relationships.


  • Disorganized Insecure Attachment: It may come in sight as a result of abuse, neglect, and exposure to violence in childhood. Actually, it is the fear of caregiver. Inconsistencies can be seen in anxiety control. They are unable to get through stress, and they are anxious about rejection despite of willingness to have close relationships. The caregiver may have a psychiatric disorder (e.g., bipolar). It is a rather unhealthy type of the attachment. The child is in a mess. The parental figure seems unreliable and fear-anxiety-inducing. He or she may have difficulty in controlling and coping problems in the adulthood. They may be inclined to crime. The use of drugs and alcoho is also common. They have problems in their social life. Their feelings towards their partner are unstable. There is a lack of emotional regulation skills. While they avoide emotional intimacy because they are sure of rejection by others, they can also be overly dependent, demanding constant attention in the close relations and they can become a person who loses control when there is something they do not want to.

As you can see, our attachment types are the determinant of how we will be and the roles we will acquire in the relationships we establish today. But of course, we don't have to base all our problems on them and accept by saying ‘’I'm like that, I can't change that,’’. It is seen by researches that this situation can be reversed with the environmental events and pathologies experienced by a person who is securely attached in childhood.Therefore, someone who attaches insecure also discovers the attachment type and goes over it; if necessary, by taking psychotherapy, it can be attached safely in adult life, on the contrary.



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Zeynep Turgut Herkese merhaba. Ben Zeynep Turgut. Şu anda Amasya üniversitesi İngilizce mütercim tercümanlık 4. Sınıf öğrencisiyim. Okuduğum bölüm bana her konuda gelişim imkanı sunuyor. Bölümüm adına bir çok deneyim elde etmeye çalıştım. Bunların arasında gönüllü olarak yaptığım işlerde vardı. Ayrıca bu ekibin bir parçası olmaktan çok mutluyum.